Health Funding Authority Set Up Six Months Ahead of Schedule

  • Bill English

Health Minister Bill English today announced the formation of the Health Funding Authority, which is being set up to replace the Transitional Health Authority.

"The Health Funding Authority will formally take over from the THA on 8 January next year. This is six months ahead of schedule and confirms the progress which has been made by the THA in bringing together the four regional health authorities into one agency.

"The establishment of the Authority achieves another commitment from the Coalition Agremeent, which was that by July next year there would be one funding body separate from the Ministry of Health.

"A seven-member board, chaired by Dr Graham Scott and reporting to me, will run the Authority. This replaces the four regional committees that were set up under the THA as a transition from the regional management structure.

"The Authority will work to achieve the Government's primary objective of improving health status, improve, promote and protect the public health, and to promote the independence of the people of New Zealand. It will also work to improve Maori health status so that Maori have the opportunity to enjoy the same level of health as non-Maori.

"The Government also has specific service expectations. These cover Maori health, mental health, child health, booking systems for elective surgery, community health initiatives, and service coverage.

"Ownership expectations include clear requirements regarding information disclosure, and an immediate emphasis on reducing operating costs," said Mr English.


For further information contact:
Liz Rowe, Press Secretary,
04-471 9154 (wk) or 04-383 5491 (hm)
Eileen O'Leary, Press Secretary,
04-471 9731 (wk) or 04-475 4143(hm)
Internet address -


Health Funding Authority Board Members

Dr Graham Scott - Chairperson

Dr Graham Scott CB, is chairperson of the Board of the Transitional Health Authority. Dr Scott is a consultant in economics, finance and management to government and business clients in a number of countries. He is chairman of the New Zealand Electricity Market Company Ltd. From 1986 to March 1993 Dr Scott was Secretary to the Treasury. His previous experience includes various positions in Treasury, Economic Policy Advisor in the Prime Minister's Department, and work as a private economics consultant. Dr Scott has a PhD in economics and is a fellow of the NZ Society of Accountants and the NZ Institute of Management.

Wayne McLean

Wayne McLean is Chief Executive of Raukura Hauora O Tainui Trust and Chair of the Maori Health Commission. He was also a member of the Tokanga Hauora Maori Advisory Committee to the Public Health Commission and is a member of the Nursing Council of New Zealand. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability, and was a member of the Steering Group which reported on the implementation of the health policy in the Coalition Agreement. He is experienced in health management, having managed the establishment of marae-based primary health services for Tainui.

Professor Alan Clarke

Professor Alan Clarke is clinical director of the Christchurch Spinal Injuries Unit. Professor Clarke has held various positions, which include membership of the Lottery Health Research Committee, the Core Services Committee, and the Medical Research Council. Professor Clarke was Director of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation and Dean of the Christchurch School of Medicine. He was president of the New Zealand Society of Oncology and President of the Surgical Research Society of Australasia. Professor Clarke was Professor of Surgery at the University of Otago from 1970 to 1985.

Bridget Allan

Bridget Allan is the Chief Executive of the Hokianga Health Enterprise Trust. She is a Trustee of the Northland Regional Council Community Trust, a member of the New Zealand Institute of Health Management, and a member of the Public Health Association of New Zealand. Ms Allan was a member of the senior management team of the Northland Area Health Board. She undertook health and social research as a consultant in Omapere, Hokianga and has worked in the education sector. Ms Allan has also been a research officer with the Health Department and the Housing Corporation.

Sally Wilkinson

Sally Wilkinson was the Deputy Chairperson of the Midland Regional Health Authority. She is currently a member of the Health Research Council. Other positions she has held include a director of the Public Health Commission, Commissioner of the Bay of Plenty Area Health Board, Community Development Consultant and Trainer, Chairperson of the Bay of Plenty Area Health Board, and member of the Advisory Committee on Women's Health. She has worked as a Public Health Nurse and has held various nursing positions.

Michael Sewell

Michael Sewell was acting Chairman of the Central Regional Health Authority (CRHA) from some months prior to the CRHA's disestablishment on 30 June 1997, and previously director of the CRHA since its inception. He was Chairman of the Audit and Review Committee, and a member of the Compensation Committee. He is a Trustee of the Trust Bank Wanganui Community Trust and a Trustee of the Central Districts Charitable Trust. Mr Sewell is a partner in an accounting firm in public practice.

(A seventh appointment is pending)

Health Funding Authority - Crown's Objectives
The Crown's primary objective is to improve health status, improve, promote and protect the public health, and to promote the independence of the people of New Zealand.

The Crown's objective for Maori health is to improve Maori health status so Maori will have the opportunity to enjoy the same level of health as non-Maori.

Performance Expectations
The following performance expectations of the HFA Board flow out of the Government's broader strategic direction for the health and disability sector (outlined in Strategic Result Areas).

Service Expectations
Maori health - contract for services which are responsive and sensitive to the cultural and social beliefs, values and practices of Iwi, hapu and Maori so that they have the opportunity to enjoy the same level of health as non-Maori

this is to include an immediate emphasis on provider development.
Mental health - improve access to, and co-ordination of, services which contribute to a decrease in the prevalence of mental illness and which contribute to a reduction in the impact of mental disorders on consumers, their families, caregivers, and the general community

this is to include an immediate emphasis on spending the Mason money in a cost-effective way.
Child health - improve the coverage of services, in particular through targeting those who are in need of additional services, and through identifying cost-effective services that contribute to improving the health status of children and adolescents

this is to include an immediate emphasis on the Strengthening Families strategy.
Booking systems - ensure that booking systems operate on the basis of clinical priority assessment criteria which are progressed towards national consistency and contract for the provision of a clinically acceptable level of elective surgery on that basis.

Community health initiatives - contribute to the initiation and development of innovative arrangements across organisational boundaries that incorporate community views and bring together a range of services to meet people's needs

contract for the pilot initiatives on integrated care and build on information gained from their evaluation for further developments.
Service Coverage - clearly articulate service coverage intentions in terms of the range and quality of services, and in terms of access to those services within the available resources, ensuring service coverage delivery, and identify and explain any changes to the service coverage

work with the Ministry of Health to improve specification of service coverage for inclusion in the 1999/00 Funding Agreement, and
prepare a service coverage document in plain English form for publication by the beginning of 1999/00.

Ownership Expectations
Strategic direction - ensure that the HFA's strategic direction over the next three to five years is consistent with Government's strategic direction, and that the HFA clearly articulates this direction to the public and providers.

Rationing - demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the greatest improvements in health and independence for New Zealanders by maintaining a robust cycle of assessing health need, and of analysing and prioritising the services contracted for, within appropriated funding levels.

Contracting - further develop and refine contracting methodologies, determine the purchasing approach for each type of service/population, negotiate service delivery contracts and monitor delivery against contracts.

Relationship with providers - ensure contracting arrangements are based on effective relationships, that negotiations are carried out in good faith, and that an environment of cooperation and collaboration is fostered between the HFA and providers. In addition the HFA will contribute to an environment of cooperation and collaboration between providers.

Information disclosure - provide clear medium-term purchasing intentions and share information with CHEs on the analysis of currect and future health needs, the rationing and pricing methodologies.

Financial management and financial performance - operate, and be able to assure the Government of this, a financially sound and sustainable business, within appropriated funding levels

this includes an immediate emphasis on reducing and optimising operating costs.
Risk management - manage risk by maintaining effective and efficient risk management strategies and processes within the constraints set by the Crown, including budget and the financial operating environment.